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In light of the recent events in the city of Pittsburgh, of which I am a resident of one of its suburbs, I felt motivated to talk to the students last night about respect. When I asked the students what was the first thing that comes to mind when I mention the virtue "respect", they replied: "self respect", "respect for others" and "respect for things". Very good and straight forward answers as usual from these young men and women.

"Self respect" we addressed in a few different ways. First of all, life is a gift and the only things we have been given within this life is our time, talent and treasure. We should not waste any of these as we never know the moment when they may run out. We discussed respecting ourselves by not polluting our minds and bodies with unhealthy habits like vaping (discussed in an earlier blog -, and developing self respect by maximizing our potential by creating of good habits such as eating healthy and getting ample sleep. We addressed how to avoid getting caught up in arbitrary matters such as being popular or good looking which is a very serious issue especially among teens, often leading to anxiety and even depression. We all are created with different talents and self respect can begin with appreciating our very own talents with which we have been gifted. Furthermore, it is no small thing to use these talents for good, for both ourselves and for others, which leads into the next point...

Respect for others! So, appreciating our own talents is not only important but also appreciating the talents of others is extremely important. And the treasure with which we are all gifted comes in as many different forms as do our talents. Our families and many individuals with good intent have different ethnicities, different faiths, different political views, often times dictated by environment and situation. Rather than fearing and/or hating these differences, it is very important in the context of love, to show respect for these differences. If not admiring them, at least allowing them the courtesy of due regard towards others feelings, rights or traditions(even the ones we do not agree with). In sports I have heard a saying which I think is most appropriate: Fear none, respect all! An easy way to show respect for others in sports is through proper sportsmanship. An easy way to show respect in life is through proper kindness.

Lastly, we addressed respect for things...such as the earth, and in much the same way as we should not pollute ourselves we should avoid polluting the environment in which we live. We can make many good decisions in this regard such as not littering, instead disposing of our waste properly and recycling, not wasting resources, perhaps we even can find many other ways to conserve like not wasting water, electricity etc. etc... Respect for other things … such as our country in which we reside by abiding by its laws (if we do not agree with certain laws, perhaps peaceful protesting for changes is appropriate)… such as by following the rules of our schools and practice facilities ... such as our churches by participating in...such as our homes by, in the case of children, listening to our parents...

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